At least once a month as I sit in my regular Weight Watchers meeting someone who is new will ask me how long it took to lose "the weight." I usually hesitate to answer this question but then I smile and I answer like this: The first hundred pounds came off in a year the next nearly hundred took quite a bit longer. I resist telling this new member how long a bit longer is because I don't want them to feel that I am typical of members with sizable amounts to lose and I don't want them discouraged before they start and yet somehow I think my truth is helpful to share.
The truth is that it took me 15 years, yes years, to get to my goal weight and that weight is a number set by my doctor who did not believe it would be healthy or even safe for me to get to the Weight Watchers goal weight. If I was going to reach the Weight Watchers goal weight I would need to lose an additional thirty pounds! The important thing to know is that I am happy where I am now and it is a lifestyle I can maintain and do maintain MOST days.
During that fifteen year period I learned many things that have helped and sustained me along the way. The MOST important thing I learned about losing my weight and keeping it off is that I had to believe I was worth the effort. I am worth the effort and so I persevere! I learned that when you are as large as I was and the Weight Watcher leader stands in front of the class and says, "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels" you know immediately she has NEVER had warm chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven or peanut butter spread on bread fresh from the toaster or even a dish of Rocky Road ice cream from Baskin Robins because I can assure you they still taste amazing and are worth the extra exercise I have to do to burn off the calories from eating them. I know I could list you at least another fifty foods that meet the same qualifications. Food tastes great and most of us in that meeting know that or we would not be sitting in that meeting. I have also learned that the Weight Watchers program works great; the Lynn program, not so well. On the Lynn program I would follow the WW program religiously until the FIRST meal after my weigh in at which point I would think to myself I have a whole week to recover so...the eating would begin. I began this practice with only one "bad" meal on the day I weighed in but soon it became both meals and included snacks. I weigh in on Saturday so Saturday then became a bust. Soon Saturday became Sunday as well and before long what I ate Friday night couldn't possibly show up on the scale on Saturday morning, but it did! Reality hit me smack between the eyes one week when I realized it took me three to four days of the next week to get off what I had just eaten on the weekend and I just might be much more successful if I stopped the weekend binge. Guess what; it worked! The Lynn program was put aside with all of the other discarded diet attempts but I continued on with WW and I did their program. Pound by pound, sometimes quarter pound by quarter pound the weight came off and I found myself on the scale at my meeting at goal. I fought back the tears but know that my meeting mates would have understood because that is what we do.
My truth is there were struggles and the same pounds were gained and lost repeatedly but I kept coming. I learned to do better and how to handle the rough times and that everyone stumbled and some even quit trying for awhile but kept coming and they too became successful.
The other day I was struggling and I came across a great quote that put things back in perspective for me:
"Some days, doing "the best we can" may still fall short of what we would like to be able to do, but life isn't perfect on any front-and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves or anyone else." Fred Rogers
I read it again and brushed the dirt off my knees, pulled my shoulders back, picked my chin up and started over. I AM WORTH THE EFFORT! "Failure is not falling down; failure is not getting up." (unknown) The truth is that it takes courage to continue trying.
My truths are that I am determined. I am a success but above all I am courageous!
Be brave, you are worth the effort!
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes, courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow." Mary Anne Radmacher